When “You Look Great” Doesn’t Match How You Feel

Published June 26, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

“You’ve lost weight!  You look great!”

I’ve heard that quite a few times over the past week.  I’ve been conflicted as to what to say.  I don’t want to be rude (particularly if it’s someone at work), but I feel the need to respond with something other than positive/affirmative.  Because I haven’t looked great at all.  I’ve had shadows and bags underneath my eyes, I’m still coughing a lot of the time and I frequently turn green with nausea.

I haven’t looked great.  I have only looked thinner.

It has been two-fold.  First I was sick with a cold that turned into a chest infection.  It left me as weak as a kitten and with absolutely no energy.  I didn’t eat properly the whole week I was sick.  I was either too exhausted, too sore or when I did try to eat, it just made me cough more.  I’m lucky a friend dropped by with home made soup and rolls (and some other tasty noms for me to nibble at), or I probably wouldn’t have eaten anything solid all week.

Add to this that thanks to my recent diagnosis of T2 diabetes, I am back on Metformin again.  Diabex to be particular, though it doesn’t make much difference, all versions of Metformin make me sick.  Not to be indelicate, but they make me spend most of the day going back and forth to the toilet, with the occasional vomit in between.  At least for the first month or so taking it, and again when the dosage is changed.  I’m just settling down into my initial dosage now, and I know I have to adjust the dosage soon.

But I’ve lost some weight, so people say “You look great!”  Regardless of how I feel.

I have said many times before that this whole culture of thin supposedly equaling health actually has nothing to do with health and everything to do with appearance.  People see thin as “better” so they label it as “healthier”.

I have seen people who have weight loss surgery turn grey-skinned, lose their hair, have shadows and bags under their eyes, lose teeth, become physically frail and weak, their skin break out and develop chronic shaking.  Not to mention the things you can’t see – reflux, vomiting, bowel problems etc.  Yet they lose weight, so people say “You look great!”  When they are not well at all and their quality of life is far worse than it was when they were fat.  But we are so indoctrinated that thin = better, if anyone was to show genuine concern for how they feel physically, they become the enemy, the one who “doesn’t want me to be healthy.”

A few years ago, a friend of mine had cancer.  She had a hell of a fight on her hands and underwent huge doses of chemotherapy to try to beat it.  I remember at her lowest point, at the moment it was touch and go whether she would survive, people kept telling her she looked fabulous.  Simply because she’d gone from a fat lady to a thin lady.  Of course, she was dangerously ill and it was on the line as to whether or not she would survive.  But because she had lost weight, many people deemed that she “looked great”.

This happens a lot to fat people.  Even without any solicitation, all we have to do is look like we’ve lost even the tiniest amount of weight (even if it’s just clothing that makes us look this way) and people tell us we “look great”.  I remember in my deepest, darkest eating disorder days when I starved, purged and exercised myself down to my thinnest (which was a size 16-18 – I’m currently a size 26) and I was desperately unhappy because being thin didn’t fix my life at all, and I was physically sick from all the ways I was punishing my body, people told me that I looked great.  They told me I was awesome, fabulous and amazing.  Without ever once asking me how I felt.  Which was miserable and sick.

If that’s what I have to do to look great in the eyes of the world… no thanks.  I’d rather feel good, trust my body to show me what it needs, feed it as best I can and move it in ways that I enjoy, and stay fat than do that kind of damage to myself in the name of looking good.


59 comments on “When “You Look Great” Doesn’t Match How You Feel

  • Your last paragraph is perfect and is now how I live my life.

    When my body had gotten smaller from a similar combination of negative behaviours to yours, I just wanted one person to enquire if I was okay so I could ask for help. I don’t comment on anybodies weight loss or gain but often just want to ask if they are okay. I don’t though. I am usually scared of the diet talk and hoorayng about weight loss that would folllow.

    • I remember that feeling sarah. Of just wanting someone to say “Are you ok?” rather than “You look great since you lost all that weight!” because I was very much NOT ok at the time. I remember that feeling of desperation, that I was so unhappy and felt so physically awful, but feeling like I had to continue, because thin was the only thing that mattered. It was horrible.

  • I remember losing 10 kilos in one week a few years back when I had mono, not eating for a week and sweating like a pig, it zapped me of my strength and left me weak and lethargic for quite awhile. It was neither pleasant or fun. And I was lucky I had 10 kilos to lose. But it didn’t stay off because I had to eat. Yet all people wanted to say was how they wished they could lose that much weight in a week!!! How I was feeling and how sick I had been didn’t seem to matter. Yes size = looking good or bad = health or not health!!!

  • This! So much this!

    This weekend I’m doing the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to raise money and awareness for cancer research and resources. I started doing this last year when a good friend of mine started a team. She found out about it when she had a bout of breast cancer a few years ago. She’s been clear for the last three years (knock wood!), and has a good prognosis to stay that way.

    Yesterday she was showing another relayer a picture of herself and a couple other patients (at the time) showing off their wigs post-chemo. It was a fantastic picture of four lovely women defiantly getting glam in their fake hair and refusing to be gotten down by the rotten card fate had played them all. But what’s the one thing my friend could focus on? That’s right. She’d lost thirty pounds and looked so goooooood!

    Never mind how worried her oncologist was; cancer helped her lose weight for the first time in her adult life. Now she desperately wants to lose that weight again.

    All I could think of was how much weight my father lost as mesothelioma ate him away from the inside out. I honestly didn’t know whether to scream, cry, or just puke.

    • All of the above perhaps Twistie. Sometimes we need to just vent with some scream/cry/puke combination.

      I too have a loved one that I saw waste away with cancer until he was gone. To see any weight loss from cancer celebrated is just… heartbreaking is the only word I can think of.

      It goes to show that many people would rather be unhealthy than be fat.

  • A while ago, I was complimented on having lost five pounds out of what was probably 160 or so. The guy was an artist, so probably sharper-eyed than most, but good God, how tight is the monitoring?

  • I know it’s a battle I can’t win but I wish that people would cease giving weight loss based compliments. I once lost 20 pounds in a month due to an ulcer flaring up because of all the stress I was under. Not one person noticed how stressed I was. All they could see was that my pants were sagging. And this was “great” somehow.

  • I had a borderline eating disorder in my late teens-early twenties. Basically, I took speed, barely ate, and worked out continuously. (this was in the late 1970s.) I was very sick. My mother and I were going through an old photo album and I saw a picture of myself back then-instead of being sad that I wasn’t thin like that anymore, I was sad that I put myself through that, and sad that I was so sick and nobody seemed to care as long as I was thin. I mentioned to my mom how sick I was and she said, don’t be ridiculous, you weren’t sick, you looked great, you were so thin. She denied my reality. It made me incredibly sad, because as you know our body issues don’t happen in a void, and many of mine came from my mother, and hers came from her mother. And so on, and so on.
    I tried very hard not to pass this down to my kids, but I think I was only partly successful.

    • buttercup that’s really tough. I’m sorry your reality has been denied like that. I’ve been through the same thing on numerous occasions.

      One thing that happened to me recently was an old school friend saw an old picture of me on Facebook and commented that “That’s the Kath I know and love.” I was horrified, because I remember the day that picture was taken. I was at my thinnest, yes, but I was so incredibly unhappy (to the point of suicidal), in the grip of a horrific eating disorder and hated myself so much. Yet when I mentioned this in response, the only response I got was “But you were so much healthier then!”

      Sigh… they just don’t listen.

      • My mother-in-law has a picture of my husband and I hanging on her refrigerator. It was before we got married. I was thin at the time – because I had gone on some weird diet to get that way. She always says…..look how think you were there, what happened? I told her a couple of weeks ago that she was going to have to accept me the way I am because I’m not going to go through another round of torture to be thin. I wasn’t mean about and neither was she, but it still makes me mad that it has to be thrown in my face from time to time.

        Another thing, my parents have gone on this diet and in less than a year my dad has lost 80 pounds. I haven’t seen them in awhile and I went to visit them last weekend. I was horrified. They just don’t look well. They’re emaciated and they’re still dieting! Their muscle mass is gone and they look like skeletons. What happens if they get sick – their bodies have nothing to work with. They said they did it to get healthy and my dad has been taken off of some of his high blood press

      • Sorry, my computer dinged out in the middle of my post…..anyway, my dad has been taken off of some of is high blood pressure meds. I just really hope they don’t get seriously ill anytime soon because they won’t have the strength to fight.

  • Nothing to whack the “you lost weight, you look great” crowd over the head like “yes, I have cancer.” (“You should try it” is probably overdoing it.) Other scary illnesses will do, too.

    Alternately one could say, “well, I *feel* like death warmed over”.

    I have lost weight without any illness behind it, I feel mostly good, and I still wish I could slap people who say somthing like that to me.

  • I had a lot of this last year, when my weight-loss was really due to post-traumatic stress disorder. In my case, I had escaped a very bad situation and was recovering from that, so I was able to reason that those close to me were seeing my weight-loss as a physical manifestation of the positive changes in my life. But life hadn’t been getting rapidly better, I can easily understand how someone in a bad place can get hooked on getting positive feedback for what was really self-neglect (as well as the adrenal kick of going hungry).

    Oddly, over the course of fifteen years of illness which has brought episodes of weight gain and loss through various means beyond my control, I have also been complimented that I “look well” when I’ve been heavier. And there is this idea that if you’re heavy, your appetite must be fine therefore you’re not sick – I’ve even known heavy people to have their ill health doubted on those grounds. So it goes both ways – basically, people monitor one another’s weight and read things into it way too much.

  • “You look great!”=profound insult.

    Why do people think it’s okay to make comments like that? You look great with(out) [insert backhanded compliment here.] So what, are you telling me that my other dresses, my heavier weight, my longer hair, etc. were ugly?

    My mother and sister are very fashion-conscious and I am not, so they often try to goad me into wearing what they like. When other people compliment me on THEIR fashion sense, I know they are trying to be nice, but I feel insulted anyway because I never wanted it and I don’t like it. It takes all the enjoyment out of it.

    Anyway, back to you health, it’s frightening the lengths people go to to lose weight or to avoid gaining weight, like when people refuse anti-psychotic meds. Does anyone notice that that’s often the first thing people say-not how are you, what are you up to, but YOU LOOK GREAT! Followed by people saying they are jealous of you.

    • JoannaDW, I’m sorry that you feel forced into clothes that are just not “you”. That’s the thing with style, one has to find their own and walk their own path. It has to make YOU happy and bugger what anyone else thinks. And when people tell you that one look is “better”, it really is a back handed compliment.

      It’s my philosophy to compliment the item, not the look or body part. ie “I love your shoes.” Then it’s about the garment/accessory, not their body or looks.

      Yeah, I’ve never understood being jealous of someone who has lost weight because they are sick. I just want to say “You’re jealous that I’ve spent the past week on the toilet and puking myself into a hernia??”

  • I’ve been thinking about getting gastric bypass surgery soon but every time, I come on one of the fat acceptance blogs, I hear the negative comments. It makes me think that I don’t really belong. What do you think?

    • You are welcome here – you are charge of the decisions you make about your body. The negative talk about WLS is about the surgery, about the side effects and misery that many people experience post surgery, NOT about the person who had WLS.

      • sandrad I just want to make it clear that I get to say who is welcome here in this particular corner of the internet, as it is mine and not wholly representative of Fat Acceptance as a single entity. FA has a whole lot of different perspectives, beliefs and values, and I certainly don’t speak for all.

        That’s just an important clarification that I make.

    • Hi Piper. You are welcome here, everyone is under certain conditions. I fully believe in body autonomy – what you do with your body is your business, and nobody has any right to make any decisions for you other than yourself.

      However, my experience with weight loss surgeries has never been positive. I have never had one myself, but have literally dozens of friends who have, and not one of them is happy, healthy or even thin. I feel it is very, very important that people know about this reality of weight loss surgery BEFORE they make the decisions to change their lives forever. Unfortunately, many recipients of WLS are shamed out of ever speaking about what they have been through, and they are told that THEY are the failure, not the procedure they underwent.

      It is my goal to present as much evidence, and as many facts about WLS as I can.

      Personally I am vehemently against WLS, as I view it as mutilation, but I respect other people’s right to make their own decision about their own bodies.

      That said, this is a space where the evangelising of weight loss is not welcome as the whole world is a platform for weight loss talk, but I and many other people feel the need to have a place where we can escape that. This blog is one of those spaces.

      I am more than happy to answer questions, talk about the risks and facts about WLS, and talk about how you feel and why you feel the need to go down that road, but be any pro-weight loss talk will not be welcome.

      • Hi Piper, in addition to Kath’s comments I wanted to say that I am one of the WLS unhappy people. I had surgery (gastric stapling) in 1996 and initially lost 30kg before gradually regaining it all +++. I am now what you can consider death fat.
        I agree with Kath that the surgery can be mutilating, well it is in my case. Think very carefully and consider all aspects. There is no guarantee with the ops, because there is always the chance of regain. I have poor health due to the nature of the surgery.

  • First, let me honestly admit that I, like many others, am a walking contradiction. My head knows that HAES (health at every size); eating intuitively (i.e. until you’re satisfied, rather than either starving or bingeing); enjoying the whole variety and bounty of foods that are available (rather than fearing the latest scary food du jour, like carbs, for instance); enjoying physical activity simply because it’s great to move your body rather than engaging in punishing “exercise” to lose weight; loving and respecting your body AS IT IS, rather than trying to fit into what society dictates are all truly healthy options, both physically and emotionally. My heart, on the other hand, often still longs to be just a bit slimmer, like I was when I got married (19 years ago)–though of course I thought I was too fat back then!

    But one thing has changed for me in recent years. I now associate weight loss solely with either illness or starvation. As I grow older (and disabled, due to arthritis which runs in my family), I have observed that really the only way to lose weight is to walk around in a constant low-to-medium state of hunger. Since this is a behaviour that I neither advocate nor want to engage in, my weight stays highish but pretty stable (good thing!). I have though, on occasion, lost some weight but it has always been to due to illness (hyperthyroidism–which causes muscle wasting, so though the scale says you’re slimmer you’ve lost muscle, not fat, and that’s a really bad thing) or depression (after a failed surgery that left me more disabled than I was before, though that has thankfully been more or less corrected).

    I must say though, that even when I was younger and did engage in stupid dieting behaviours and lost some weight, I was always rather upset when people told me I looked great. Inside, my reaction was “so, I looked terrible before?”.

    Sometimes, I find all this crap unbearable.

    • NewMe, it does get better, bit by bit, each day. It takes time and sometimes you slip back down the ladder (I do!) but you get better and better at recognising the slips, and your climbing skills get better too. The important bit is to just keep going.

      And I totally understand that feeling of “So, I looked terrible before?” all too well.

  • I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to go through this and oh my goodness, how your friend must have felt when people congratulated her on her weight loss, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

    I’m pregnant, and due to really bad morning sickness I lost quite a lot of weight and had people tell me it was a good thing. I couldn’t believe anybody would consider my weight loss in any way positive when it was brought about from struggling to eat one small meal a day, potentially depriving my baby of important nutrients, but hey, it’d be worth it if I could be slimmer, right? *Sigh*

  • When I suddenly lost about 10 pounds in two weeks my co-workers could only say “You look great! You’ve lost weight so fast!” but they didn’t mention anything about my gaunt face or dead eyes or hunched shoulders. I was raped (but I never told anyone that I worked with) and all they could see was how it had affected my physical body, even though it manifested itself in my demeanor and my expression. It made me doubly sad because of the trauma of having been assaulted and unable to talk about it combined with people seeing only the weight it made me lose due to stress and trauma.

    • Nabi, I am so sorry. Have you got someone you can talk to? Even online? I know there are some support forums, it might help to poke your nose in and talk to someone there.

      Gentle hugs if you want them.

  • When I was eating disordered, I too got a lot of “positive” feed-back, but I was screaming inside for someone to recognize that I was very sick and miserable. My skin was gray and my hair was thinning…. I was cold all the time… I had no energy…. I couldn’t think straight…. I was mean to pretty much everyone, because I was so irritable from being starved. I was so hugely mad at the world for refusing to recognize that I was very, very sick. Deep down I knew I needed to be fat again simply to survive. I was constantly telling everyone how sick I was (oh yes, including doctors) and all I got back was how I was a “good” weight and so I must be fine. Fat people who become thinner MUST be healthier, so ignore all their complaints.

    Our societal obsession with thinness is sick… and sad. 😦

    • I felt the same way. All I wanted was someone to accept me exactly as I was, but I felt nobody would unless I was thin. I was making a mess of myself, killing myself fairly steadily actually, and everything you listed was the same for me.

      Yet so many people pressured me to “Keep going, you look great!”

      Sick is a really good word to describe it.

  • Great post. This happended to my sister when she was in high school at boarding school; she was suffering from intense anxiety so much that she threw up (involuntarily) almost anything that she ate. My mom had to ship her Ensure type drinks, which were all that she could keep down. Her hair startted falling out and her skin and eyes looked terrible and she lost quite a bit of weight. But because she was “chubby” to begin with, the weight loss was praised, instead of seen as a warning sign. No one at the school even knew what she was going through. If she had started out thinner, people would have been alarmed.

  • I used to say, “Oh no! I didn’t mean to lose it. If you see it, please let me know!” but now I say something about weight loss being a major symptom of many serious illnesses and I ask if they think I should see a doctor. Now, I say this to strangers mostly as my friends would never dream of saying such things to me. I am fortunate and grateful for the fact that they love me as I am. But I hate that people think it’s okay to comment on anyone’s body ever!

  • I lost so much body weight last year because of cancer, that I went from being ‘fat’ to ‘thin’ in less than six months, and it has really messed with my head. As the weight dropped off, I became eating disordered for the first time in my life, because the weight loss seemed a consolation prize for being so sick and I wanted to lose more, more, more, even though my doctor told me I needed to eat a high calorie diet full of fat to get through the chemo and surgery. Finding the Shapely Prose blog one night while I was in hospital really stabilised me, and then I started feeling ashamed for being so gleeful about the weight loss.

    I’ve only been back at work for a couple of months and last week was at an industry event, where many people were seeing me for the first time in a year. I got a whole gamut of reactions to the way I look, all of which have upset me to a degree. There was the guy who used to make constant, cutting remarks about my weight and what I ate, so I was pleased to see him and watch his jaw drop as he realised he no longer had that stick to beat me with. And yet, what does that make me that I care what this schmuck thinks about my body? Then there are the people who actually CONGRATULATE me, and are very clear that they, too, believe that months of hospitalisation and intense treatment were all worth it for the weight loss. One person even said “get sick more often!” I know he was joking, but still.

    What’s hurt and upset me is I never realised how many people were judging me for being fat. I mean, I knew I was fat and I knew that people noticed, but It turns out that loads of people secretly thought I looked like a bag of crap and were judging me harshly for it. They give that away by how they enthusiastically compliment me now and in the remarks they make. It’s also provoked jealousy from some people, as I no longer occupy the ‘poor Alexie – nice person but a fattie’ space. Turns out there were more than a few people who got off on being able to look down on me.

    All of that should have been obvious to me while I was fat, but it wasn’t. You get acclimatised to it, I guess. I didn’t realise the scale of the contempt until I wasn’t on the receiving end any more. I can’t wait to see how they react if I get fat again, as the research says I probably will.

    • Alexie that person telling you that you should get sick more often needs a big kick in the bum. How dare they say that. I would want to tell them to p…off.

    • Alexie one thing that my friend and I talked about when she went through similar things with weight loss thanks to cancer was the fact that you have enough shit on your plate to deal with when you’re fighting cancer, the last you need is weight stigma! I mean, you’re fighting for your life, you’re sick, you have to change your life and all these other things and all people can do is say “Wow, you’ve lost weight, you look great!” How fucked is that?

  • Over 20 years ago, I lost 30 pounds in 3 months going through a divorce. Not only was I too upset to stomach food much of the time, I was also severely limiting the foods I would actually eat (started as an allergy diet, sort of descended into what I realize now was disordered eating.)

    My cheating, soon-to-be-ex told me he was proud of me for losing all that weight. Then he told me I could stand to lose 10 more. Grrr….

    Now, between the meds I need for bipolar disorder and a bout with thyroid cancer, my weight has gone up and down so much for medical reasons that I’m pretty philosophical about the whole weight thing. When I get thinner (depending on the med regimen of the month) I get complimented, and I’m not really sure what to say. My medical conditions aren’t so awful that I’m hurt or traumatized when someone comments on my weight, but I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I were losing weight because I was battling life-threatening cancer or Crohn’s disease or something.

      • Because when we think about it, isn’t that what we really mean anyway? Do I really care about that person’s physical appearance or am I simply very happy that this person, who I like very much, is standing in front of me at that moment and i get to be with them?

    • I recently saw someone I had only seen once in almost forty years (showing my age!). I remember her as quite a heavy teenager. The woman I saw last week was quite slim. I was thrilled to see her again but I admit that I really had to bite my tongue to avoid asking her whether she’d lost weight. What the f**k difference does it make??? I’m pleased to say that I did not ask her and we had a great time catching up on our respective lives.

      One other thing I forgot to mention that also drives me batty. People I haven’t seen in a while often ask me if I’ve lost weight, even if I haven’t, which is most of the time. Why is that? And what does it mean? It just really, really bugs me.

    • When I know them well, yes.

      When it comes to people I work with, or those I don’t know very well, I tend to notice garments or accessories. “I love your dress!” is so much better than “You’ve lost weight, you look great!”

  • Sadly, many people really do think thinness is a health improvement for most people, so they’ll see improvement where there isn’t any. If people say something about me losing weight, I’ll say “Yeah, I’ve been sick. That’s what happens when you’re sick.” Fortunately, nobody’s yet persisted in trying to compliment me.
    k.sol, your ex was sorely in need of a good swift kick to a sensitive part of his anatomy.

  • The one time I lost a large amount of weight (around 20lb in a few weeks) was in my early twenties, just before my first marriage. I was running around trying to get everything done, hardly eating anything, and trying to hide the fact that I was really, really unsure about going ahead with it. (Then fiancé already had control issues, and his mother openly despised me. My fears were correct – it lasted six years, and two of those were only because he bullied me into staying.) I got no compliments on the weight loss at the time, but I did get a whole heap of nastiness from both the ex and my own mother when I inevitably put it back on.

    That wasn’t really illness, though, and the thing that really gives me pause is that the only time in my life I ever saw my dad thin was when he was on his deathbed with lymphoma. His doctor, in fact, told us that him being a big guy with some fat reserves was probably one of the things that kept him alive with it for fifteen years, through a variety of the nasty infections that can plague the immunocompromised, and in the middle of that, an industrial accident that very narrowly missed killing him. So, people automatically associating fat with illness and weight loss with health is something I’m pretty sceptical about.

    • It might not have been direct illness Emerald, but it was a definite reflection on your wellbeing, which is all part of health. It seems people are quite content to see us unhappy, so long as we lose weight, which is really offensive.

      I’m sorry to hear to hear about your Dad.

  • I had a very similar experience with eating disordered weight loss and people telling me how “great” I looked, even though I was spotty, pale and drawn with dark circles under my eyes, never smiling and bursting into tears, panic attacks or screaming rages over nothing because I was, you know, starving. But because you could see my collarbones I “looked great”. I still resent that every time I look at pictures of my low weight. I look so sad and sick in those photos, it makes me wonder how nobody noticed :-/

    I also remember teachers (frequently, it was weird) asking me if I’d lost weight when I was in high school and most definitely hadn’t lost weight. Including a memorable occasion where I said, awkwardly, “no, I don’t think so…” and the teacher insisted that I definitely had.

    I prefer to comment on people’s outfits or their hair or a cool accessory if I think they look great! And noticing someone has lost weight these days is more inclined to make me worry about them than congratulate them :-/

    • I remember how that felt Sarah, it’s not a good feeling, is it?

      I think when people see a fat person that looks good, their first instinct is to think they’ve lost weight. I mean, how else could they look good, without losing weight, amirite?

  • There’ve been more than a few comments here about wanting it to be noticed when weight loss is unhealthy, but I’ve read elsewhere that people who are naturally thin or thin because they’re ill get hassled because they’re seen as anorexic.

    Any suggestions on navigating this?

    • Body policing sucks no matter who is on the receiving end of it. I say navigate it the same way – tell people your body, your health, your size, is none of their damn business. Whether you’re thin, fat or somewhere in between, it applies to every single one of us.

  • (sarah) When my body had gotten smaller from a similar combination of negative behaviours to yours, I just wanted one person to enquire if I was okay so I could ask for help.

    (sleepydumpling) I remember that feeling sarah. Of just wanting someone to say “Are you ok?” rather than “You look great since you lost all that weight!” because I was very much NOT ok at the time.

    (angrygrayrainbows) When I was eating disordered, I too got a lot of “positive” feed-back, but I was screaming inside for someone to recognize that I was very sick and miserable.

    People here, including you, have said that they wanted it to be noticed that they were in trouble– I was thinking about the saying something aspect, not the hearing something aspect.

    The problem is (from the saying something side) that people probably want to hear it once from a sympathetic person. They don’t want to be hassled about it by a number of people.

  • I just stumbled upon your blogsite tonight, and I’m so happy that I did! I’m always on the lookout for fat-positive blogs that empower people to believe in themselves and love who they are, where they are.

    In regards to this particular post, I have a co-worker who, when I first started working with her, weighed well over 300 pounds. The greatest quality she possessed was that she was consistently happy ~ she greeted everyone with a smile, enjoyed her work, made others laugh with her own infectious laughter. She was fun, and we loved her for it. A few years ago, she had lap-band surgery and began to rapidly lose weight… and practically stopped eating altogether. She allowed herself a few cups of coffee and a handful of Skittles out of the candy machine each day. She became obsessed with her caloric intake. She became overwhelmingly aware of her appearance, and began to negatively judge herself. Even once she shed the excess weight and was thinner than I could ever imagine becoming, she was still dissatisfied. “I just need to lose 15 more pounds…” Her skin had become gray, her eyes tired, she had constant dark circles under her eyes. Occasionally, she complained of not feeling well, but the fact that she was looking so thin caused her to shrug it off. Every client that came in to see her always commented on how fabulous she looked ~ despite the fatigue and malnutrition written all over her face. Despite her obvious hair loss. Despite her lack of enthusiasm. Even now, after plastic surgery and breast enhancement, she looks constantly tired and must wear more and more make-up to cover it.

    Anyway, keep up the great work you are doing here, it’s been a pleasure to read!

    ~ Enchanted Zaftig

    • Thank you QuietlyOutspoken!

      I have friends like your colleague. I have watched people who were robust and strong, but fat, turn into pale, grey shadows of themselves, even more miserable than they were to start with, after WLS. I have even had two friends die from complications from WLS. How many more people have to have their lives ruined by this?

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